Things to Do

See below for some of our recommendations of things to do and places to go in Philadelphia! They are also linked on our map below for ease. 

Historic/Museums/Sightseeing:

  • Liberty Bell and Independence Hall (near hotel)

  • Museum of the American Revolution (near hotel)

  • City Hall / Dilworth Park / Love Park (next to each other)

  • Schuylkill River Trail

  • Rittenhouse Square park

  • Franklin institute

  • Art museum/Water works

  • Eastern State Penitentiary

  • Washington Square park

  • One Liberty Observation Deck (highest viewpoint in city)

  • Spruce Street Harbor Park

Where to eat:

  • Cheesesteaks - Angelo’s Pizzeria, Dalessandro’s, Jim’s South St., John’s Roast Pork, Sonny’s, Tony Luke’s (some cash only)

  • Angelo’s Pizzeria (cash only)

  • Reading Terminal Market (Lots of food stands. Get DiNic’s roast pork.)

  • The Bourse Food Hall

  • Khyber pass (southern cuisine in an Irish dive bar named after a location in Pakistan)

  • The Franklin Fountain ice cream shop

  • Sabrina’s Cafe (breakfast)

  • Green Eggs Cafe (breakfast)

  • Federal Donuts (breakfast, great chicken sandwich)

  • A Mano (BYOB)

  • Oh Brother (burger joint near hotel)

  • Primos (hoagies)

Where to drink:

  • Sto’s (close to hotel)

  • Khyber pass (close to hotel)

  • Independence beer garden (close to hotel, great outdoor spot)

  • Frankford Hall (German beer hall)

  • Monk’s Cafe (best beer selection in the city)

  • Bok Bar (rooftop bar in south philly, fantastic views of city)

  • Southwark (possibly best cocktails in the city)

  • Spruce Street Harbor (food and drink options on the river)

  • Morgan’s Pier (bar on the river)

  • Other Half (brewery with large outdoor space)

Walking Tour

Check out this custom, self-guided historical walking tour compiled on the next document. This tour was written especially for us by Judy Morley, the mother of the bride who has a Ph.D. in American History. 

Start at Renaissance Hotel—401 Chestnut Street

1. Independence Hall—Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th

World-famous for being the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were discussed and adopted, Independence Hall was completed in 1753 as the home of Pennsylvania’s colonial government. The simple, colonial building was designed in the Georgian style. As you stand on this site, remember that you are standing where Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and others declared American independence, and where 11 years later, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the other delegates ratified the U.S. Constitution.

2. Liberty Bell—526 Market St.

Originally rung to summon Assembly lawmaker to sessions in the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in the mid-1700s, the Liberty Bell was originally commissioned in 1753 to commemorate the 50 th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s first constitution. It cracked in 1846, as it was rung to commemorate Washington’s birthday. Since then, it has become an international symbol of freedom and the perseverance of the American colonists to secure their liberty from Great Britain. If the line to see the Liberty Bell up close is too long, you can still catch a pretty-good look at it from the sidewalk. 

3. Christ Church Burial Ground - 340 N. 5th St

The Christ Church Burial Ground is actually 3 blocks west of Christ Church andwas acquired in 1719, when the church’s property was full, and this piece ofproperty was “on the outskirts” of town. This site is the final resting place ofmany prominent Philadelphians, including Benjamin Franklin. It has become atradition to throw coins onto Franklin’s grave, a practice that has caused thegranite to deteriorate. Franklin’s grave can be viewed from an opening in the wallwithout entering the cemetery, but it is worth a walk through the historic grounds.


4. Betsy Ross House—239 Arch Street

This modest home is one of Philadelphia’s most-visited sites, the house of the woman who is credited with sewing the first American flag. Born in 1752 to a Quaker family, Ross was an accomplished seamstress, having embroidered shirt ruffles for George Washington before he became Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. This home highlights her work as a seamstress and her success as an independent businesswoman. It was through her affiliation with Christ Church that she met the influential founders who commissioned her to sew
the flag that would bring her fame.

 

5. Elfreth’s Alley—126 Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is America’s oldest, entirely intact, residential street. This cobblestone lane will take you back 250 years, to a time when the area was inhabited by shipwrights, silversmiths, glassblowers, and their families. Named for an 18 th -century blacksmith, Jeremiah Elfreth, the street is lined with quaint Georgian and Federal-style row houses, still housing individuals and families.Two units, #124 and #126, are open to the public as museums so you can get a glimpse of the interiors and each unit’s unique style.


6. Christ Church—22-26 N. 2nd Street

Dating to 1744, Christ Church is considered one of the finest Georgian structures in America. It is often called the “nation’s church,” having hosted members of the Continental Congress, including George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and others. The building was the tallest of its time in the city, and for over 50 years it was the tallest building in the U.S. Walking through the graveyard, you may recognize names of Founders and signers of the Declaration of Independence. Inside, the pews are labeled with the names of the  famous worshippers, including George Washington.

7. Franklin Court—322 Market Street

Although the original house and print shop were torn down long ago, the Benjamin Franklin Court outlines where these buildings once stood. Archaeological remans are still visible beneath glass windows in the ground, and “ghost houses” were build on the exact spots where the house and print shop once stood. Next door, there is a working 18 th -century print shop that demonstrates the printing techniques Franklin used in his time. Also within Franklin Court is the Benjamin Franklin Museum.


8. City Tavern—138 S. 2nd Street

Although the original, 1773 building burned and was razed in 1854, this historically accurate replica was built for the bicentennial in 1976 and is preserved as part of the Independence National Historical Park. Founders literally dined, drank ale, and argued philosophy on this site. Curiously, it was Benjamin Franklin who introduced tofu to America, and the restaurant serves tofu pasta inspired by Franklin’s recipe. Additionally, the menu features many favorites of the founders of the era. You can take a break before returning to the hotel by having a cocktail and appetizer at this historic site!

9. Return to Renaissance Hotel—401 Chestnut Street